LONDON - Third-generation birth control pills containing desogestrel, gestodene, cyproterone and drospirenone have twice the risk of venous thromboembolism as older-general oral contraceptives and 3.6 to 4.3 times the risk of blood clots compared to women who don't use oral contraception, according to a study published in the May 26 British Medical Journal ("Use of combined oral contraceptives and risks of venous thromboembolism: nested case-control studies using QResearch and CPRD databases," Yana Vinogradova, et al. British Medical Journal, May 26, 2015; BMJ 2015;350:h2135).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania landowners who sued hydraulic fracturing companies alleging chemical contamination of their drinking water as a result of fracking operations on May 26 filed a brief in Pennsylvania federal court opposing the company's motion to dismiss, arguing that it has not provided evidence to establish that the residents have willfully failed to commence arbitration or have abandoned any of their meritorious claims (Edwin Bidlack, et al. v. Chesapeake Appalachia LLC, et al., No. 11-00129, M.D. Pa.).
SEATTLE - A motion by Ford Motor Co. for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) that 65 patent claims asserted by an infringement plaintiff were abandoned was granted, in part, by a Washington federal judge on May 25 (Eagle Harbor Holdings LLC, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., No. 11-5503, W.D. Wash.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67897).
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A Tennessee federal judge on May 26 adopted a magistrate judge's recommendation to grant motions filed by several lenders to dismiss a wrongful foreclosure action against them, finding that the homeowners failed to state a claim for relief (Paul Renfroe, et al. v. Flagstar Bank, et al., No. 14-2914. W.D. Tenn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67508).
NEW ORLEANS - Asbestos exposure and not the resulting mesothelioma constitutes injury for the purposes of mental anguish damages, but even assuming plaintiffs witnessed the exposure, the event is not the type of traumatic event for which Louisiana makes such damages available, a federal judge held May 21 (Agnes Landry, et al. v. Columbia Casualty Co., et al., No. 14-220, E.D. La.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 22 granted partial class certification in a lawsuit brought by California employees suing over the collection of union fees from non-union members (Kourosh Kenneth Hamidi, et al. v. Service Employees International Union Local 1000, et al., No. 14-319, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67419).
CHICAGO - While one causation expert cannot offer an opinion on labeling for the antidepressant drug Lexapro in a wrongful death action filed by the father of a man who committed suicide after taking the drug because the expert's report was untimely, another causation expert can testify that Lexapro probably caused the son to kill himself because the expert is reliable and used sound methodology, an Illinois federal judge ruled May 26 (Mahasukh K. Shah v. Forest Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 10-8163, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67554).
NEW YORK - A New York federal jury on May 26 awarded an insurer $1,625,431.75 in compensatory damages and $2.75 million in punitive damages after finding that a third-party claims administrator breached a claims services agreement and its fiduciary duty and committed conversion against the insurer, further finding that the administrator's affiliates aided and abetted its wrongful acts (Starr Indemnity & Liability Co. v. ACM, et al., No. 14-0463, S.D. N.Y.)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a notice filed May 26, the plaintiffs in a lawsuit regarding the data collection activities of the National Security Agency (NSA) advised the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals of a recent Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that deemed the NSA's program not authorized by the USA Patriot Act (Larry Elliott Klayman, et al. v. Barack Hussein Obama, et al., No. 14-5004, 14-5005, 14-5016, 14-5017, D.C. Cir.).
INDIANAPOLIS - Citing his June 2014 approval of a Case Management Plan, in-progress discovery and a scheduled claim construction hearing, an Indiana federal magistrate judge on May 26 denied a defendant's request for a stay of patent infringement claims pending resolution of its inter partes review (IPR) request before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) (Bonutti Research Inc., et al. v. Lantz Medical Inc., No. 14-609, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67450).
MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota appeals panel on May 26 affirmed a trial court judge's decision to award summary judgment to a home builder accused of construction defects, finding that the judge did not err in finding that the plaintiff's breach of contract claim was barred by the doctrine of merger and that the defendants owed no duty to the plaintiff (Second Chance Investments LLC v. Sabri Properties LLC, et al., No. A14-1524, Minn. App.; 2015 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 490).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After finding that two Chinese insurance companies' investment claims against the Kingdom of Belgium were related to a bilateral investment treaty that was not in effect at the time the dispute arose, a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on May 26 found that it lacked jurisdiction over the case (Ping and Life Insurance Company of China Limited, et al., v. Kingdom of Belgium, No. ARB/12/29, ICSID).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on May 26 stayed a Zohydro ER regulation lawsuit pending final Food and Drug Administration action on new labeling for the opioid (Zogenix, Inc. v. Deval Patrick, et al., No. 14-11689, D. Mass.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Plaintiffs who allege that Chevron Corp. is liable for damages caused by the explosion of a natural gas rig on May 26 filed a brief in California federal court opposing the company's motion for sanctions related to alleged failure of some plaintiffs to comply with discovery obligations. Furthermore, if granted, the sanctions should not apply to all plaintiffs, the plaintiffs say (Foster Ogola v. Chevron Corporation, No. 14-173, N.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on May 22 certified a class of Chicago teachers alleging that mass layoffs in 2011 disproportionately affected black educators (Chicago Teachers Union, et al. v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago, No. 12-10338, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66960).
TULSA, Okla. - An Oklahoma federal magistrate judge on May 26 excluded the testimony of an expert for a man seeking to determine if an insurance policy covers his claims in an underlying state court action, finding that the expert's opinions and proposed testimony will not be helpful to the court (Gerry G. Thames v. Evanston Insurance Co., No. 13-cv-425, N.D. Okla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67655).
NEW ORLEANS - A shipmaker and a woman who alleges asbestos exposure from laundering clothing briefed a federal judge in Louisiana on May 26 on whether he must stay an asbestos case set for trial on June 22 during appeal of his remand order (Mary Jane Wilde v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 15-1486, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66642).
SAN FRANCISCO - An attorney acted in bad faith when he asked an asbestos expert about the connection between the plaintiff's chemotherapy and his renal failure after telling the court that such questioning was off the table, a federal judge in California held May 26 (Barry Kelly and Molly Kelly v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 11-3240, N.D. Calif.).
PENSACOLA, Fla. - A Florida state court jury returned a defense verdict May 21 in a suit alleging that the death of a former smoker from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular disease was caused by his years of smoking (Ethel Gray, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2013 CA 002813. Fla. Dist., 1st Dist., Escambia Co.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on May 21 partially struck an airline's affirmative defenses in a class complaint alleging damages caused by delay and cancellation of a domestic flight (Aleksey Bernfeld, et al. v. U.S. Airways Inc., No. 14-5573, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66677).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Although a California federal judge found the motion to file a third amended complaint (TAC) to add an additional named plaintiff in a privacy class action against Facebook Inc. to be untimely, he found no bad faith on the plaintiffs' part and no substantial prejudice to Facebook, granting the motion in a May 22 ruling (In Re: Facebook Privacy Litigation, No. 5:10-cv-02389, N.D. Calif.).
PHILADELPHIA - The mother of a 2-year-old boy who died when a bedroom dresser tipped over, crushing him, filed suit May 21 in state court against the Ikea Group, which sold her the dresser, alleging design defect and negligence on the part of the retailer (Jacquelyn Collas, Individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of Curran Collas v. The Ikea Group, et al., No. 150502365, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
OKLAHOMA CITY - Residents who sued Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) in Oklahoma federal court alleging that they have been injured as a result of exposure to radioactive waste from a chemical plant operated by the company filed a brief on May 26 arguing that HESI's expert witnesses should be precluded (Mitchell L. McCormick v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-01272, W.D. Okla.).
SALT LAKE CITY - The plain language of Utah law permits service on a defendant up until the time of trial, as long as a single defendant is properly served within the 120-day limit, the Utah Supreme Court held May 22 (Barbara St. Jeor v. Kerr Corp., No. 20130913, Utah Sup.; 2015 Utah LEXIS 171).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 26 declined to review the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that a shareholder-owner's state law claims related to improper cancellation of her health care coverage were preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (CeCelia Catherine Ibson v. United Healthcare Services, Inc., No. 14-1119, U.S. Sup.).